Baduria, West Bengal:
Locals clash with police over alleged improper distribution of ration material
Several policeman and villagers were injured in a clash in Baduria area in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas today when cops were trying to disperse a crowd that was protesting over shortage of rations.
The officer in charge of Baduria police station sustained head injuries in the scuffle and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital.
A large police force descended on the villagers in the area after the incident and arrested at least 21 persons for the attack. Several villagers were Lathi charged by the police during the door to door search. Women, too, were attacked.
The state's food minister Jyotipriya Mallick said rations were to be distributed to 75 odd people at Dasnagar village, however, only 50 people received rations because the material got over. The 25 others who did not get the rations launched the protest under the leadership of a local BJP leader, he said.
"Ram Das, son of Shyam Das, was behind the protest by villagers. They are BJP men. they started the trouble," Mr Malik said.
The issue began around noon when villagers blocked the road at Dasnagar. When the police came to remove the roadblock and resorted to Lathicharge to disperse the crowd, villagers retaliated with stones and lathis.
Following an attack on an officer in charge of Baduria police station, a huge police force descended on local villages, stormed their houses, beat and arrested them.
The incident took place at ward 9 of Baduria municipality. Mr Malik said the local councillor had gone to distribute relief but run short.
"I have ordered the authorities to distribute food to the balance 25 people who did not get the relief," he said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the ration was not being distributed by the state government but by some NGO.
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